Ultimate Fighting Championship hall of famer Rich “Ace” Franklin is offering his custom 1967 Chevrolet Camaro at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction. The Camaro was a gift from UFC president Dana White after Franklin jumped in for the injured Tito Ortiz on The Ultimate Fighter TV show.
“They typically give coaches a gift and since I wasn’t there for the entire season, I jokingly said to Dana (White) at the time, ‘you still giving me a gift?’ Which is always a car and he is like, ‘yeah, absolutely.’
“So this car ended up being the gift that I got for doing the season,” Franklin said.
The Camaro was customized by Matt Hunt’s Muscle Cars and is powered by a fuel-injected General Motors 502cid V8 big-block engine bored and stroked to 561cid. It’s been upgraded with Edelbrock direct-port fuel injection, Edelbrock polished intake manifold, and Edelbrock billet fuel rails. The engine was dyno’d and produces 675 horsepower.
“I like the resto-mod version of this one,” Franklin said. “The engine that’s been put in it and the horsepower, it performs the way it looks. It’s built for speed.”
The Tremec T56 Pro-Fit Magnum 6-speed manual transmission features a McLeod Racing RXT street twin-disc clutch, McLeod Racing RXT aluminum flywheel, McLeod Racing GM hydraulic conversion and Driveline pro aluminum driveshaft. To slow this Camaro, a Wilwood 6-piston big brake kit was installed.
“I actually was driving this car in LA, not as a daily driver or anything, but would use it as a Sunday, go-get-some-ice-cream kind of car,” Franklin said. “And then ended up killing the transmission in it, so the work that Matt (Hunt) ended up doing on the car started basically with the transmission work.”
The grey exterior is complemented by green SS stripes on the front fenders, with Camaro and SS emblems, a blacked-out front grille, extensive chrome, and a cowl induction hood. It rides on 5-spoke Budnik Billet wheels with low-profile tires.
This car features a custom black interior offset by green trim. The dash has a custom carbon fiber wrap. Black vinyl front bucket seats include green piping and “Camaro” stitched into the tops of the seats. Further custom touches include the Corvette insignia and “67” stitched on the rear bench seat.
The idea of selling his Camaro was proposed by Matt Hunt and his shop prepared the finishing touches to have it stand out in the resto-mod crowd for the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction.
“He started sending me pictures and I was like, ‘dude, I’m going to end up bidding on my own car here.’ So, I mean selling this thing is a bit bittersweet to me right now,” Franklin added.
With the Camaro on the market, Franklin’s garage still has a 1972 Chevrolet C10 Stepside that was customized by Hunt. The truck has a patina-style paint job, a custom fuel cell moved underneath the bed, and the bed was upgraded with riveted boards.
“I put a four-speed transmission in my C10, and the speedometer is just a little off and the faster you go, the more off it is,” Franklin said. “I was driving 68 (mph) on the highway and the police officer clocked me at 81. I was like, ‘Oh, I did not realize I was that far off.’ I was passing traffic in the fast lane, so I should’ve known better, but he ended up letting me go though because he got to look at the truck.”
The Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction runs from April 7-9 at the South Florida Fairgrounds.